(RED) was created earlier this year by Bono (among others) to raise awareness and money for The Global Fund by teaming up with the world’s most iconic brands to produce (PRODUCT)RED branded products. A percentage of each (PRODUCT)RED product sold is given to The Global Fund. The money helps women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. Each company that becomes (RED) places its logo in this embrace and is then elevated to the power of red. Apple, Amex, Converse, Gap, Motorola and Giorgio Armani are some of the involved brands so far. The latter turned 124 stores in 33 countries RED for World AIDS Day (December 1st) to celebrate the arrival of the Emporio Armani (PRODUCT)RED collection. Converse allows you to create your own definition of the perfect pair of sneakers. Of course you can argue if buying another product is the best way to help suffering people in Africa. Personally I think that (PRODUCT)RED is a good example of how design really can make a difference. In this case indirectly by raising money.
(PRODUCT)RED sales in the US during the first six weeks since launch have raised money enough to make one of the listed steps possible:
Provide more than 40,000 men or women with ARV treatment for a year/Provide more than 2 million peer educators with HIV training/Provide a year’s worth of school materials and daily hot meals for more than 86,000 children orphaned by AIDS or Provide more than 1 million Rapid Tests which detect HIV and deliver instant test results.
Who said that consumerism isn’t a powerful tool?